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Richard Harris™ commented on

Carrot and Sticks

Something I have been thinking about and struggling with more and more lately is this.

Carrot and Sticks


Give and Expect

For the past decade of my sales leadership career, I have practiced the classic Carrot and Sticks method of incentives.

If you do things well - Get this fancy carrot.

Can we pause for one second tho and just think about how weird that 'Carrot' is a good thing?

Like has anyone been like 'God damn I can't wait for that carrot?'

Sorry, I'm back.

If things don't go well, here's the stick.

It works... kind of. But could there be a better way?

What if I just gave the reward, and expected the results?

What if instead of withholding comp until someone performed, I gave them the comp and told them to perform.

What if instead of saying do x, and you get a day off.

I give you a day off, and say when you get back, go do X.

As I continue to learn about motivations, behaviors, and relationships, I feel the carrot and stick create 'conditional' relationships.

Which creates lower trust, commitment, and adherence.

It's also been shown people will work harder to prevent loss, than gain...

What do ya'll think?

What if we flipped it?

"Give and Expect" or "Carrots and Sticks"

I feel this is more of a hiring issue. When you hire reps that truly take ownership of their role and have above average self accountability, the carrot or the stick never comes into the conversation. Now, how you screen for self accountability in interviews is the golden question.

That said, we are in a different time and the truth is that most sal...
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This is so interesting and appreciate you pushing the discussion around this! I've heard you talk about this idea before on podcasts, and I think it would work especially well for your sales force because if I recall correctly, you also get them to sign a document based on expectations. That is a huge piece to this whole '#Give&Expect' because if y... See more
I think anything is worth trying. However, what if you just remove the stick entirely?

You do this, you get this. You don't, nothing changes, its go forward to the next thing?

The stick isn't necessary. The lack of reward should be enough of a motivated. Lack of reward and a stick? That's like kicking someone when they are down.
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